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Running for Congress? Try, Try Again

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Running for Congress? The second time might be the charm.

Just ask recent victors such as Reps.-elect Garland “Andy” Barr IV, R-Ky., Ami Bera, D-Calif., and Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H. They defeated their respective opponents on the second try.

There will be an entirely new landscape in 2014, and some November losers believe they might have a better shot in two years. If history is precedent, the midterm elections will provide more opportunities for the party not occupying the White House: Republicans.

What’s more, in two years, many Democrats won’t be able to count on the boost of the president’s effective turnout operation. Accordingly, more GOP losers than Democratic candidates are already mulling comeback bids for certain seats.

But there are opportunities for Democrats in 2014 as well. Republicans controlled redistricting in most key states during the decennial mapmaking process. The GOP didn’t release maps until late in the cycle, forcing last-minute campaigns for otherwise competitive seats.

So who might be looking for a second chance to win? Here’s our list of potential two-timers:


Martha E. McSally | Arizona’s 2nd District

McSally might run again in 2014, according to a source familiar with her thinking. If she does, Republicans would welcome her back.

McSally earned plaudits for her profile as the first female pilot in the Air Force to fly in combat. What’s more, she came closer to defeating Democratic Rep. Ron Barber than many operatives anticipated — within less than half of a point.

Mia Love | Utah’s 4th District

Love’s loss to Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson marked one of the House GOP’s greatest disappointments of 2012. She would have been the first black GOP congresswoman.

Initially, Republicans believed a strong Mitt Romney turnout in Utah would give Love her best shot at the seat. But a recent Salt Lake Tribune report showed Utah’s turnout was stagnant compared with 2008.

Love could not be reached for comment.

Richard Tisei | Massachusetts’ 6th District

Tisei is considering a rematch, according to a source close to the former state senator. Tisei lost to embattled Rep. John F. Tierney — even surprising some Democrats who believed the congressman was a goner due to the ethics problems saddling his family.

The source noted Tisei might have a better shot without the Democratic Party’s turnout operation churning for Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren on top of his ticket. House GOP operatives would welcome a second try from Tisei, who would be the first openly gay Republican elected to the House.

Allen B. West | Florida’s 18th District

Never shy, West already has left the door open to running again. He told local WPTV he hasn’t made a decision yet: “That’s between my wife and I and God as far as where we’re going to go.”

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